I don’t like to brag, but we’ve been saying this for years now: before we know it, Latinos will be the largest ethnic group in California. I also said that this will happen sooner rather than later, and now it is official: the folks from the California Department of Finance issued a release last Friday February 1st. indicating that early in 2014 Latinos will become the plurality in California. One year! (well, maybe I like to brag a bit.)
The implications are enormous: policy, priorities, campaigns, strategies, resources, budgets, etc. Reactions from media did not wait: here an example from the LA Times with a video from Fox News (to bring some contrast).
One of the many things we learned from the last election is that this segment of the population carries an ever growing weight in every aspect of our society. We also learned that ignoring or alienating it carries grave consequences, so it is no surprise that there is a renewed interest in engaging and collaborating with Latinos.
What does this mean for your organization? With a population over 50 million, the other important learning is that there is no way to think that we can communicate with all Latinos in the same way. The diversity within the population is just enormous: all kind of experiences, values, perceptions, needs. So I suggest that the question should be “How do I make sure that my strategy is relevant to this segment of the population?”, instead of ”How do I communicate with this segment of the population?”
Are you ready?
Renovarse o morir (renew or die)! That’s our motto for 2013. In that spirit, we have some news to share with you:
1. We moved! Although the physical move is not too dramatic (we moved just a couple of blocks), the new office feels completely different. Check our new address!
2. We created a strategic partnership with The Scansion Group. They say that great minds think alike, and after a couple of incredibly cool projects in collaboration late last year, we decided to collaborate more closely with Steve Diller and his team. Check them out!
3. We are turning 10 this year! Enough said.
Stay tuned, because we will have more news later this year, specifically connected with our tenth anniversary. We expect you to be part of our celebration!
The SF Symphony’s Día de los Muertos Community Concert will celebrate its 5th year engaging the Latino community in a stronger way. This year’s concert for the first time will highlight the SF Youth Orchestra and the SF Chorus, as well as Viva Fest as co-presenters. The Mariachi de Tecatitlan, and San Jose-based Los Lupeños will be performing. SOMARTS, Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts, the Consulate of Mexico are also community partners.
The artistic program will be announced next week, and the concert will be on Saturday November 3, at 2 pm.
The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) has engaged Contemporanea to participate in its professional development seminar in Denver on September 20th and 21st. Contemporanea will work with this group of young leaders on ways to develop cultural competence within an organization, based on the model that we have used with many of our clients.
As part of its Education and Public Outreach initiatives, NASA is conducting a retreat in Santa Fe NM, focusing on issues of cultural diversity. NASA grantees will participate in this retreat from May 16 to 18, in which Contemporanea will be part of a series of panel discussions on Latino engagement.
One of the most common questions we get is whether people should use “Latino” or “Hispanic”. Well, based on the latest study by Pew Hispanic the answer is neither. The majority of Latinos prefer to use their, or their family, country of origin.
This is just one of the findings of this study, that is fast becoming a must if you are interested in understanding this growing population. Click here for the study, or find an abstract below:
Nearly four decades after the United States government mandated the use of the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino” to categorize Americans who trace their roots to Spanish-speaking countries, a new nationwide survey of Hispanic adults finds that these terms still haven’t been fully embraced by Hispanics themselves. A majority (51%) say they most often identify themselves by their family’s country of origin; just 24% say they prefer a pan-ethnic label.
Contemporánea invited as one of four Innovative presenters at the 2012 American for the Arts Convention
We were honored to be invited as one of four Innovative presenters at the 2012 American for the Arts Convention in San Antonio, June 8th – 10th.
Contemporánea will present the session: The New Mainstream: How Changing Demographics are Shifting Your Community on June 9th (which is Salvador’s wife’s birthday, by the way). This is the first time Contemporánea has been invited to the Innovative sessions and we expect a huge crowd.
Contemporánea consulted with SFMOMA on a Latino engagement strategy for the Photography in Mexico exhibit, which opened on March 10th to great reviews and lots of excitement from the local Latino community. Check out some of the news here:
With so much attention currently on participatory engagement in the arts, we thought it important to go back to the way immigrant communities all around the globe have created and celebrated the arts in their communities.
Participatory arts have always been the norm among many immigrant communities, as a way of preserving their cultural identities. Although a bit old, here’s an excellent study on the way immigrants create participatory arts experiences.
After collaborating for several years with American for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project in different capacities, Salvador was invited to join the National Marketing Arts Project Advisory Committee, including the Annual Conference Selection Committee. Salvador’s vision for multicultural audience engagement has been one of the key factors for including him in these committees, a testament of the growing importance of diversity in the arts.